Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Queen & Country (Volume 2)

Operation: Morningstar
Greg Rucka & Brian Hurtt

Tara Chase deals with the repercussions of the last mission, Operation: Broken Ground, in the second volume of Greg Rucka's espionage series Queen & Country. This is a really suspenseful series, as it goes back and forth between the hectic offices of S.I.S. and the agents in the field with their lives on the line. In this particular book, Tara takes a place on the backburner as agents Tom Wallace and Ed Kittering travel to Kabul, Afghanistan to try to uncover a list of informants at one of several drop-off points throughout the city, in wake of an agent's execution. Unfortunately, the taleban regime is on the lookout and may or may not be lying in wait to see who stumbles upon the drop. Greg Rucka's writing is, as per usual, top notch. Full of action and interesting power struggles within the S.I.S., this book has plenty to offer including some cool characters like our Miss Chase. The art on the series has never been the best. Hurtt gets the job done, but it doesn't do much for me beyond that basic function. This particular volume saw the talents of Bryan Lee O'Malley and Christine Norrie on inking duties, of which I preferred the latter, but they did little to relieve the blandness of the pencils. Fortunately, Rucka's writing is worth accepting the art. Often surprising and always fast-paced, the stories offered in this series are some of the most entertaining around. B

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